When should I buy my baby her first pair of shoes?
You’ll need to buy your baby her first shoes when she is confidently walking around on her own, and walking outdoors. Only put her in shoes when she’s walking outside.
While your baby is learning to walk around the house, let her go barefoot. She will be able to balance and coordinate her steps better if she can feel the ground beneath her feet.
Going barefoot will also allow her feet to develop naturally without being restricted by tight shoes or socks. Your baby’s bones are soft, and cramping them in a pair of shoes too early can squash her feet and prevent them from growing properly.
It’s best to take your baby to a shoe shop where her feet can be measured by a qualified shoe fitter. The shop should display a certificate of training or the fitter will wear a badge of merit. Look out for these signs when you go to a shoe shop. The shoe fitter will advise on the type of shoes to buy, and make sure they fit your baby properly while also allowing for growing room.
Being fitted for her first shoes is a new experience for your baby, and she may not take kindly to it! Try not to worry too much if your baby puts up a fuss or starts crying. The fitter should be used to measuring babies for their first shoes.
If they’re not, ask for a more experienced fitter or just come back another day. Saturdays are often very busy, so if your baby is likely to cause a fuss, try to take her for a fitting some time during the week.
Your baby will need shoes of a specific length and width. Babies’ shoe lengths start from size three. The width of her feet will be between D and H, with F and G being the most common widths.
Look for a supportive shoe with a buckle or Velcro fastening, or with laces, to hold your baby’s feet in place. Check that the sole is flexible and lightweight with a good grip.
Choose a pair made of a breathable material, such as leather, cotton, or canvas. Steer clear of plastic shoes. These can make your baby’s feet sweat, which can lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
When your baby tries on a pair of shoes, feel around the toe area to make sure there is plenty of room. There should be about 1cm of growing room between the end of her longest toe and the end of her shoes.
Let your baby walk around in the shoes. Make sure her feet don’t slip forwards or out of the shoes when she walks or stands on tip toe. If her feet slip forwards, this could squash her toes in the end of her shoes. If her shoes are too loose, she’ll end up having to curl her feet and toes to prevent them slipping off.
Take your baby to have her feet measured every six weeks to eight weeks. She will grow about two shoes sizes a year, so she’ll need new shoes fairly frequently. Continue to have your baby’s feet measured every six weeks to eight weeks until she is about four years old. After this you can get them measured every three months.
Check the size of your baby’s socks regularly, too. If your baby needs a larger shoe, then she will also need bigger socks!
It’s always best to buy your baby new shoes. Second-hand shoes won’t give your baby the right support for her developing feet. They will already be moulded to another child’s feet, and the soles will have worn down to fit a different walking style. Source: babycentre.co.uk